An American Classic: The Grand Canyon
With its rich inventory of reasonably priced lodgings and tour facilities, the Grand Canyon is available easily and enjoyably to everyone
As in Flagstaff, motels are plentiful in Williams. The two listed here hand out coupons for ten percent discounts at nearby restaurants. I particularly like the attractive, well-kept, 34-room Norris Motel (800/341-8000), which is part of the Best Value association of independent inns. The peak rate is $55 a night for one bed; $59 for two beds, and $2 extra for each child. (In winter, $30 to $34.) Coffee, granola bars, and the heated pool and hot tub are complimentary. Up the street, the 20-room Route 66 Inn & Gift Shop (888/786-6956) will rent you a king-bedded room for $45 for one person, $50 for two from May through September ($35 for two in winter). A two-bedroom family unit sleeping four to six people starts at $90 ($60 in winter). Within walking distance of each are two Old West-flavored cafes. The Parker House Restaurant serves up a rainbow trout dinner with salad and potatoes for $8.75. At the Pine Country Restaurant, charmingly decorated with green-and-white-checkered tablecloths, the porkchop dinner is just $6.75.
Two well-kept hostels provide what I've found to be the cheapest decent accommodations in the Grand Canyon area. In funky Old Town Flagstaff, the 52-bed Grand Canyon International Hostel (888/442-2696) charges $16 a night for a bunk bed with linens, a hearty breakfast, and pickup from the Greyhound bus station. Dine cheaply around the corner at the Black Bean Burrito Bar & Salsa - $2.95 for a burrito plate. About ten miles north of Williams, the 34-bed Grand Canyon Red Lake Hostel (800/581-4753) offers spartan bunk rooms at $15 per bed, but the place is surrounded by thousands of acres of gorgeous scenery. Picnic with a lofty mountain view on salads and sandwiches from the deli next door. If you plan to stay more than a night, check with hostel co-owner Joe Petrillo about a discount. "We're flexible," he says. "We cut deals."
For more south rim information, contact Trip Planner, Grand Canyon National Park, P.O. Box 129, Grand Canyon, AZ 86023, 520/638-7888. You also can find the Trip Planner on the Web at www.thecanyon.com/nps. Hiking around an Anasazi (ancestors of the modern Hopi) archaeological site on the challenging Nankoweap trail. John Russell/Network Aspen//Charles Lindsey/Graphistock//The watchtower at the south rim (left); Gary Crabbe/Enlightened Images//the stupendous view from the canyon's north rim (right) Cheyenne Rouse//Havasu Falls on the Havasupi Indian Reservation in the Grand Canyon. Cheyenne Rouse//Rob Atkins/The Image Bank//The sunburned beauty of Vermilion Cliffs: The escarpment ranges over 40 miles. Gary Cralle/The Image Bank